New Orleans Ex-Mayor Nagin's Katrina Cash-In Nets 10 Years in Prison

Found guilty of 20 charges of bribery and corruption


Technically, not all of Ray Nagin's bribery and corruption charges were connected to Hurricane Katrina. The man who served as mayor of New Orleans from 2002 to 2010 was taking kickbacks from city contractors even before the hurricane devastated the city.

Nagin was found guilty of 20 of 21 corruption charges in February. Today he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Prosecutors objected that the sentence wasn't high enough. From WWL-TV in New Orleans and USA Today:

Inside the courtroom, Judge Ginger Berrigan determined Nagin did not have a leadership role in the criminal conspiracy, saying all defendants are "equally culpable."

"Mr. Nagin's crimes were motivated in part by a deeply misguided desire to provide for those closest to him," she said.

That's a hilarious justification for reducing his sentence. The mayor of New Orleans, according to The Times-Picayune, makes more than the state's lieutenant general. In 2010 the mayor's annual salary (pdf) was $140,000.